The daily average handle during the first month of racing at Gulfstream Park was $6.896 million, an increase of 35% over 2017, when that figure was $5.109 million. Total handle thus far is $110 million, up by $8 million over last spring despite four fewer racing days.
“In a very short time our spring and summer racing season has become one of the country’s most popular meets with horsemen, and our handle clearly reflects it’s a favorite as well with bettors,” said Gulfstream General Manager Bill Badgett. “So many horsemen from around the country have embraced our vision of a year-round Thoroughbred program in Florida, and with breeders, owners and the FHBPA putting so much into Florida racing, we felt this program would create more opportunities for horsemen and an increase in field size for bettors.”
Beginning with Saturday’s program, a second phase of purse incentives are set to kick in. The minimum payment for horses finishing fifth to last in allowance races, starter races of $35,000 or more, maiden special weight races and claimer and maiden claiming races of $25,000 or more will be $750. Minimum from fifth to last for any categories before the $25,000 threshold will be $500. Gulfstream started the meet with a 10% purse increase over last year.